Platform for online psychiatry and mental health care
Offers support for medication management, diagnoses, and crisis care
Psychiatric services for children, teens, and adults
Only accepts clients with in-network insurance
Affordability
4.9 49%
Data privacy
5.1 51%
Availability
5.1 51%
Inclusivity
7.8 78%

Finding accessible, affordable mental health care that aligns with your insurance coverage and specific needs can feel overwhelming. Online psychiatry platforms can help to remove some of the obstacles to getting care by allowing you to take appointments from the privacy and convenience of your home. 


The Helpguide Handbook Team aims to give you a comprehensive, honest look at whether an online psychiatry platform is the right choice for you. We did extensive research into Talkiatry, a telehealth platform for online psychiatry and medication management, analyzing its cost, the types of psychiatric care offered, customer service, and the accepted forms of health insurance. 

What’s the difference between psychiatry and therapy?

Psychiatry is mental health care delivered by a medical provider such as a board-certified, licensed psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Psychiatry providers have a different scope of treatment options for their patients than therapists.

Unlike therapists, psychiatry providers can provide medical services and prescribe psychiatric medications. However, both therapists and psychiatry providers can offer psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, though not all psychiatrists provide therapy.

In a mental health emergency:

Online therapists may not be the most appropriate resource to help in a mental health crisis. If you or someone you know is a danger to themselves or others around them, it is an emergency, and cannot wait for an online therapist’s response.

Don’t wait. You can find help immediately by:

All the above options will connect you with trained professionals who can provide crisis support. You can find even more resources, including international options, on our helpline directory page.

Key takeaways

If you learn five things about Talkiatry from our review, here’s what you need to know:

  • Talkiatry offers online psychiatry, mental health diagnoses, and medication management.
  • The average cost for Talkiatry is a $30 copay per session, but pricing varies by insurance coverage.
  • Talkiatry requires insurance and does not accept out-of-pocket payments. 
  • Talkiatry is one of the few telehealth platforms where providers can prescribe certain controlled substances A controlled substance is a drug, medication, or chemical whose manufacture, distribution, and use is regulated by the federal government. .
  • Talkiatry provides treatment for adults, teens, and children.

Our testing experience

of research
7,500+   hours
of research
researched
70   platforms
researched
tested
14   platforms
tested
surveyed
1,200   people
surveyed
interviewed
20   people
interviewed
consulted
60+   experts
consulted

Collectively, the Handbook Team has put in more than 7,500 hours of research, testing, and evaluation to review different online therapy and psychiatry platforms, down to the fine print. We wrote this review to guide you in finding a provider who can best fit your mental health care needs.

Our Handbook Team has consulted with more than 60 mental health experts in total. For platforms that offer online psychiatry, we interview psychiatrists who offer virtual psychiatry to learn more about their experience. It should be noted that these may be providers who offer telehealth sessions through their private practice, not clinicians on online platforms.

We ask for details on when online psychiatry can be beneficial, and when online mental health care is not appropriate. For example, we learned that in the case of someone suffering from agoraphobia, experts told us that  in-person sessions are more meaningful to the individual’s progress compared to avoiding exposure therapy by exclusively attending online appointments. We also learned that, for certain conditions, a prescription for a controlled substance is considered a first-line treatment, and can be an important part of care. For example, stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin are often prescribed to help manage ADHD and are often considered the most effective treatment. But these are controlled substances, and not all online psychiatry platforms can prescribe them. 

We look for online psychiatry platforms that accept insurance and offer transparent pricing and other valuable features on the platform, such as symptom trackers and worksheets.

For someone starting a new medication, medication management can be difficult to add to your daily routine without proper support. That’s why we look for platforms that offer patients continued access to prescribers who can answer questions about their care and medication. For example, platforms may have messaging portals where patients can message their clinician to ask follow-up questions.

How we tested Talkiatry

Our Online Therapy Testing Process
1
Fill out the intake assessment. Fill out the intake assessment.
2
Subscribe as a new user. Subscribe as a new user.
3
Get matched with a therapist. Get matched with a therapist.
4
Schedule and attend sessions on the platform for one month. Schedule and attend sessions on the platform for one month.
5
Go through the steps to switch therapists. Go through the steps to switch therapists.
6
Contact customer support with questions. Contact customer support with questions.
7
Explore platform features such as journals, worksheets, and symptom trackers. Explore platform features such as journals, worksheets, and symptom trackers.
8
Cancel subscription. Cancel subscription.

Testers explored the Talkiatry platform and filled out the intake assessment to learn what questions the platform asks, how many questions they ask, and how quickly you are matched with psychiatry providers. Testers then review the list of providers available to see how many choices they have and what information they can see about the providers. We also ask testers to evaluate the appointment times available to them to see how quickly they could be seen and how many choices they have. We documented which medications Talkiatry can prescribe and how users can fill their prescriptions. Testers also reached out to Talkiatry customer service with specific questions to gauge how quickly and how thoroughly they respond to requests, and evaluated any additional features the platform offers. Testers logged their experience in a diary and came together to share their findings when testing concluded.

Pros and cons of Talkiatry

Pros
Unlimited messaging with providers.
Initial session is 60–75 minutes.
Specialists available for children, teens, and adults.
Can prescribe controlled substances.
Cons
Not available in all states.
Only accepts patients with insurance.
Switching providers can take up to 10 days.

Talkiatry review

Affordability
4.9 49%
Data privacy
5.1 51%
Availability
5.1 51%
Inclusivity
7.8 78%

Key highlights

  • Cost: $30 per session
  • Session lengths: 30–45 minutes
  • Types of Services Offered: Online psychiatry

Our final verdict

When choosing mental health care, there are several factors to consider. Since many people choose online psychiatry platforms for convenience, we were impressed by Talkiatry’s features offering easy sign-up and use. Talkiatry’s free Healow app allows users to schedule appointments, communicate with a psychiatrist, view medical records, and manage medications.

When you sign up for Talkiatry, the platform matches you with a provider. You can also review other provider profiles and select your own. However, once you select a provider, you’ll need to call or email to switch clinicians. While the process is simple, it can take up to 10 days.

Talkiatry also stands out from other online psychiatry providers for two reasons. It is one of the few platforms that offers online psychiatric care for children and adolescents. It is also one of the few online platforms that can prescribe certain controlled substances, including certain types of anxiety medications and stimulants for ADHD. This is important because, in the case of ADHD, stimulants are considered a first-line treatment A first-line treatment or medication is the first treatment option given by a provider because it is proven effective for a specific condition. by many providers. While other online therapy platforms may offer support for ADHD, they may not be able to provide care using these standard treatment options.

Before becoming a client, understanding Talkiatry’s billing structure, co-pay, and late fee/no-show policies is critical. Since some factors depend on your location, insurance coverage, and individual needs, you’ll want to clarify these policies on your own and with your insurance provider.

We would like to see Talkiatry offer care to people who do not have insurance and enable them to pay what they can afford on a sliding scale.

Compare Talkiatry with other online psychiatry platforms

PlatformCostInsurance optionsCan prescribe a controlled substance?*
Talkiatry$30 average copay per session, varies by insuranceYes, but not MedicaidYes
Brightside$95 per month for psychiatry plus your pharmacy’s copay; $349 per month for psychiatry plus therapyYes, but not MedicaidNo
Talkspace$299 per initial consultation plus $175 per follow-up session; other bundles available; $69–$109 for therapyYes, not including Medicaid or MedicareNo
SesameVaries by providerNoNo
Live Health Online$185 per initial consultation plus $80 per follow-upYesNo
Dr. on Demand$299 for an initial consultation;
$129 for follow-up
Yes, including Medicare part B

*Depending on the state where you currently reside. Certain states require an in-person visit with your doctor before they can prescribe controlled substances. You can learn more about your state’s online prescribing laws through the Center for Connected Health Policy.

How Talkiatry works

When signing up for Talkiatry on the website or your smart device, you’ll need to answer a brief questionnaire to gauge your needs. Once completed, the platform pairs you with potential psychiatrists. You can read their profiles, which include their biographies and specialties, before choosing one. The first new patient appointment is an hour to 75 minutes long, and subsequent appointments depend on the care plan you discuss with the provider. According to a Talkiatry care coordinator, these follow-up appointments typically take 30–45 minutes. 

The Talkiatry website offers a 30-second informational video explaining their services and online psychiatry basics. 

After your first appointment, you can schedule follow-up visits with your provider to check in during your mental health journey or to alter your prescription. Talkiatry is mainly for medication management, but psychiatrists can refer you to a therapist for talk therapy.

As of this writing, Talkiatry offers online psychiatry in most states, except for the following:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming

Services may be extended into new areas in the future. You can check for updates on this map.

Conditions treated

Psychiatrists on Talkiatry can diagnose and treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Substance use disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

However, Talkiatry does not currently provide treatment for some conditions or situations, including:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Patients who feel they’re at risk of taking their own life
  • Patients who require treatments that must be administered in person
  • Patients who’ve been hospitalized for a mental health condition in the last six months

Medications prescribed

Depending on your diagnosis, a Talkiatry psychiatrist may prescribe one of the following medications:

Before starting a new medication, be sure to tell your provider what other medications

you take. Ask about potential side effects, like weight changes and nausea in children and teens and sexual dysfunction in adults. Understanding any adverse reactions common with your new medications lets you be fully informed about the potential benefits and risks. 

Access to in-person psychiatric care is not always available to those seeking help due to various factors, including a shortage in the workforce, with a projected low of 38,000 psychiatric providers in the United States this year. In some cases, people cannot visit providers in person, and online psychiatry services may help bridge the gap. Recent research demonstrates the effectiveness of Talkiatry in lessening symptoms in people who have an anxiety or depression diagnosis.

Using the Healow app

Talkiatry does not have its own mobile app, but works through the Healow app. You can download the free Healow app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store for Talkiatry or other health providers. Once you become a patient, Healow allows you to access medical records and lab results and manage appointments and medications. If you have more than one family member using this platform, each person will have their own account. Healow allows you to sync your wearable devices if you want to share information such as steps walked each day, weight, or other biometric information with your doctor. 

Getting started 

Before your appointment, set aside five to 10 minutes to ensure your internet connection is secure. To protect your privacy, avoid public places with open internet connections. Next, enter your payment information for a potential copay. You can attend appointments on your browser or the Healow app, and there’s a helpful troubleshooting page if you have any issues.

After your initial appointment, you can choose to schedule a follow-up. If you have any issues with insurance coverage, pharmacy communications, side effects, or other concerns, email your clinician anytime via the Healow app.

Switching providers

Talkiatry recommends trying a few sessions before deciding to switch providers. If you’re looking for a provider with specific professional experience—or if your initial match isn’t a good fit—you can ask for a new match. To switch Talkiatry providers, call 833-351-TALK (8255) or email [email protected]. The process can take up to 10 days.

Stopping treatment

If you decide you want to end treatment, take a break, or leave Talkiatry for another provider, you can cancel services by contacting the Talkiatry support team at 833-351-TALK (8255) or [email protected]. Do not abruptly stop any medication without communicating with your provider

Talkiatry cost and payment options

Talkiatry advertises it costs, on average, a $30 copay per session, but pricing varies by insurance coverage. Costs include copayment, deductible, and coinsurance. The medical visit costs are insurance-dependent. These costs do not include any medications you’re prescribed if your provider determines they are appropriate. To fill your prescription, you can ask your Talkiatry clinician to send it to your pharmacy of choice, and you will then pay for the prescription at the pharmacy. Talkiatry offers payment plans for balances over $250.

Visit pay.talkiatry.com to set up a new payment plan. 

Insurance options

Talkiatry advertises itself as offering “in-network psychiatric care.” The platform currently only accepts patients whose insurance it accepts, and no self-pay options exist. 

Talkiatry takes insurance from these major providers, among others:

  • Aetna
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • United Healthcare

You can also search for your provider through Talkiatry’s website.

Cancellation fees

Talkiatry charges a $100 fee for canceling or rescheduling an appointment with less than 48 hours’ notice. Your insurance may not cover this fee. Penalty fees will show up on your bill as a No-Show fee, and Talkiatry will charge the credit card on file

Our research found verified customer complaints about surprise bills and unclear billing practices. If you believe you were billed in error, contact Talkiatry’s patient billing support center at 833-351-8255 or email them at [email protected]. For people living in California and New Jersey patients who can’t find a bill for a recent session, go to billpay.talkiatry.com.

Our final verdict

The Talkiatry online platform provides psychiatry support and medication management for a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Talkiatry stands out because its clinicians are able to prescribe certain controlled substances that other online psychiatry platforms do not. For those with certain conditions, like ADHD, this is important as a prescription for a controlled substance can be part of treatment. Talkiatry can be a good option if it accepts your insurance, but the fact that it does not accept out-of-pocket payments does limit access for those without insurance. 

Online psychiatry is not right for everyone. If you are seeking psychiatric care for the first time, or if you are dealing with one of the listed conditions that Talkiatry does not treat, you should consider seeing a psychiatrist in person first for a full evaluation.

Frequently asked questions

Talkiatry is an online psychiatry platform that supports children, teens, and adults. Psychiatrists on this platform can diagnose conditions and prescribe medications. If needed, their providers can refer you to a therapist for teletherapy.

Yes, Talkiatry takes many forms of insurance, including Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, Medicare, and Medicaid, among others.

Depending on your diagnosis, Talkiatry psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers, stimulants, or sleep medications.

Talkiatry psychiatrists can assess you for ADHD and can prescribe stimulants, such as methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine-amphetamine (Adderall).

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